The local campaign for federal Green Party leader and MP Elizabeth May has reported more than 23 signs either missing or vandalized.
“It’s annoying,” said campaign manger Michael Strumberger. “But it’s not a surprise. This is not new.”
On Monday the party reported at least 15 signs stolen or vandalized in 24 hours, but that number has since jumped, says Strumberger. With many signs reported missing from homeowners’ lawns.
The alleged thefts comes a few days after Victoria People’s Party of Canada candidate Alyson Culbert reported similar crimes.
Strumberger said the Saanich-Gulf Islands candidate’s signs were not costly and had been recycled from previous elections – this is May’s third time running and second re-election campaign – but he calls the potential sign theft an act of silencing.
“It’s anti-democratic and it’s taking away people’s voice,” he said. “People don’t put up these signs because we ask them to … the lawn signs are there because people want them.
You take away their sign, you take away their voice.”
Election signs are the property of campaign organizations and anyone vandalizing or removing signs without authorization can be charged with property theft or damage. Campaigns have to comply with rules around their placement, but anyone concerned about a sign in a prohibited area is asked to contact their municipality rather than remove the sign themselves.
Strumberger adds that anyone stealing Elizabeth May signs because their want their own can pick up a sign from the campaign office at 9775 Second Street, Sidney or call the office at 778-351-3335.